Social Justice & Entertainment Industry Leaders Head To Charlotte For Film Festival

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 14, 2017 — Define American has confirmed the participation of civil rights leaders and entertainment industry influencers for the 2017 Define American Film Festival in Charlotte, NC. Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, award-winning journalist Melissa Harris-Perry, activist Brittany Packnett, comedienne Cristela Alonzo, actor Ian Nelson, and filmmaker Paola Mendoza will sit on various panels during the festival, taking place May 11-13 at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. Other participants include filmmaker Nadia Sasso, director Tiffany Rhynard, and Moises Serrano.

Activists Packnett, Mendoza, and Huerta will team up to discuss the challenges of women of color within the civil rights movement and “mainstream feminism” after a screening of the critically acclaimed eponymous biodoc “Dolores.” While Teen Wolf‘s Nelson will join a panel discussion following a screening of MTV‘s provocative documentary “White People.” As screening and discussion of the film “Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?” with Sasso will explore how African women here and in West Africa wrestle with concepts like race, complexion, gender, and heritage. While “Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America,” precedes a panel discussion with Rhynard, queer and trans immigrants living in North Carolina. Award-winning journalist and editor-at-large Melissa Harris-Perry will moderate the panel discussion “Stories We Tell: How Immigrants are Portrayed in Popular Culture.”

The festival, presented by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, which is also sponsored by American Airlines, The Charlotte Observer, and Red Ventures, will take place at 551 South Tryon Street.

The inaugural DAFF was held in January 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. The festival included discussions with entertainment industry professionals, activists like Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir and “Star Wars: Rogue One” writer Chris Weitz.

For tickets and more information on panelists, guests can visit

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